Accuracy in Media

NowThis News failed to issue a retraction or a correction in one of its latest stories surrounding the alleged Russian government inference in the upcoming 2020 presidential elections. The mainstream media reported that intelligence officials warned lawmakers that Russia will probably interfere in this fall’s elections to help President Donald Trump win re-election, but within several days, the media walked back or clarified its initial report.

However, NowThis News did not issue a correction or retract its report.

The website headlined the initial reports about potential Russian interference, “Intelligence Reportedly Warned Lawmakers of More Pro-Trump Russian Interference,” but as of today, it has not been retracted or corrected. It said the following:

“According to a New York Times report, intelligence officials warned lawmakers that Russia is looking to interfere in the 2020 campaign to get President Trump reelected. And though intelligence officials have already said in past briefings that Russia was continuing its campaign interference after the 2016 election, their recent briefing reportedly included new information that Russia intended to interfere in the 2020 primaries, as well as the general election.”

NowThis News did not join CNN and the rest of the mainstream media in correcting its original report. For example, several days after its initial reports, CNN pointed out that an intelligence official “appears to have overstated” the assessment that Russia could interfere in the 2020 general election to benefit Trump.

Anonymous officials told CNN that the U.S. “does not have evidence that Russia’s interference this cycle is aimed at reelecting Trump” and added, “A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference… It’s more that they understand the President is someone they can work with, he’s a dealmaker.”

None of the recent revelations spurred NowThis News to retract or correct its report. Instead, readers have access to the original report, which contains misinformation that needs to be clarified. Typically, media outlets and journalists either retract badly-sourced and incorrect stories or scoops and issue a correction to explain why the outlet published incorrect or inaccurate information. NowThis News should do likewise to demonstrate that it operates under normal journalistic ethical guidelines.

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